Who is Eligible for TRICARE Military Health Benefits?

TRICARE is a health care program basically established to foster the health and wellness needs of individuals serving the United States military. Members employed in the Department of Defense (DoD) receive medical care support and services like hospitalization, dental care, surgeries, vision care, mental health and behavioral health care, prescription drugs, and many more.

People Eligible for TRICARE

Beneficiaries of TRICARE are classified into two groups: sponsors and family members.

Sponsors— are people who are retired or actively working in the U.S. Army,  Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Commission Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Commission Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, Coast Guard, National Guards and Reserves. They are required to enroll in one of the TRICARE Prime health plans that serves their health care needs.

Family members—are the immediate relatives of the sponsors which include spouses, biological or adopted children, stepchildren, dependent parents or parents-in-law. For a child to become eligible for TRICARE, he must be single,  under 21 years of age, or up to 23 years of age if he is enrolled full-time in college and the sponsor is financially supporting 50% of his school expenses. The sponsor's dependents must also be enrolled in a TRICARE health care plan.

Additionally, the sponsor must register online each of his family members in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to qualify and claim for TRICARE benefits.

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